It had been a long week. The children had all been sick, I was struggling to keep up with all my many tasks and frankly, the children and I were worn out. It was then that my husband came home, noticed the state of the house and then processed to turn on the television. I wanted to scream and cry. Bitterness was creeping in and I had steam coming out of my ears. After all, yes he had worked all day but I was so tired and desperate for help. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that he himself had developed the same virus that the children had and he had himself had also had a rough day.
Many times it is so easy to allow our own struggles to cloud our judgment on a situation. Many times it is easy to view a situation a little one sided. Even more so when we feel as though we are struggling all alone. The truth is bitterness creeps in one us and will take hold long before we even notice it is happening if we aren’t careful. It’s even easier to allow that bitterness to take over and consume our actions toward those around us.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV)
Bitterness has no place in our marriage. Frankly, bitterness has no place anywhere in our Christian walk. Instead, we are to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. Sounds like a tall order and yet if we ever what to have peace in our marriages this is exactly what we have to do!
Instead, of instantly reacting to frustrations that arise in our marriages or holding on to wrong doings we have to be willing to stop and reflect on what it is that is happening in this situation. This is one reason open communication is so important. Otherwise, we are just putting out a welcome mat for Satan to just step right into our marriage.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
4 Ways to Keep Bitterness Out of Your Marriage
- Pray before you react: Take a moment to compose yourself. Speaking in the heat of the moment does nothing but add fuel to the fire.
- Check your heart before you speak: Ask yourself why you are so upset? Are you are overwhelmed? Do you have a legitimate concern? Are you carrying over residual anger or bitterness? These are important to know before you react.
- Proceed to speak in love, not anger: Nothing ever gets resolved if either individual feels as though they are being attacked. Instead, strive to speak out of love. Our spouse is not the enemy. At the end of the day, we are both on the same team.
- Be quick to forgive: Healing begins when forgiveness is given. Be willing to forgive and open to working together in all the various aspects of your marriage.
Bitterness is one of those emotions that creeps in little by little. But by allowing God to change our hearts and mind in how we react and approach our spouse, will keep the bitterness at bay.
It’s time to ban bitterness from creeping into our marriage. Will you join me?
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